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Eyepiece purchase priority

Eyepieces Equipment
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#1 expandingsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:17 AM

I'm likely going to buy a Heritage 150 ... if they ever come back in stock.  (This is actually my second telescope, I've been using an old Celestron C4.5 with garbage eyepieces.  It's a fine scope, but I want something more portable.  I still consider myself a beginner.)  For context, I live in light polluted skies (planets are good targets, but not much else), but a couple times per year I'll go camping or visit family where the skies are much, much better.

 

While I wait for manufacturing to catch up with demand, I'm planning out eyepieces.  That's a major limiting factor with my current setup, so I have an idea for what I want.  More eye relief (than my 4 mm plossl, for example), cleaner views of planets, and maybe one day I'll have success with deep sky objects.  The end goal is to own the following: 5 mm, 8 mm, 15 mm, and 25 mm.  This gives magnifications of 30x, 50x, 95x, and 150x.  With a 2x Barlow that can also do 1.5x, I would also get 225x (for the rare really good skies), 190x, 75x, and 60x (not including duplicates and near duplicates).  I may one day add a 32 mm, we'll see.

 

For the eyepieces, I'm looking hard at the Paradigm (or similar rebrands).  They seem to have a good combination of price and performance, and OK eye relief.

 

But ... I don't think I can afford all this right now.  That's like $650 total (including telescope).  So I have to prioritize.

 

So here's my question: what is my priority for buying the eyepieces?

 

The Heritage 150 comes with 10 mm and 25 mm eyepieces (MA, I think), so of course I can just start with those.  I figure I should buy the Barlow first to make the most of what I have.  But after that?

  • Do I replace the 25 mm first, as a direct upgrade to the stock eyepiece?
  • Do I buy the 8 mm first, mostly as an upgrade to the stock 10 mm?
  • Do I buy the 5 mm first, to extend capabilities for planetary viewing?
  • Do I buy the 15 mm first, as a solid versatile eyepiece (only using the 10 and 25 for the extremes)?

Which of these would you buy first?  Second?  Or am I just overthinking things as usual?

 

(An alternative scheme I thought of would be 8 mm, 12 mm, and 32 mm with a 2.5x Barlow, which works out to 205x, 140x, 95x, 65x, 50x, and 25x, without duplicates.  This is also much cheaper overall, with a clearer purchase path -- 12+Barlow first, 8+32 later -- but it seems rather unorthodox.  Opinions on this are welcome as well.)



#2 kongqk

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:51 AM

I like the 8, 12, 32 path more with a good 2X barlow. For the Paradigm eyepieces, the 5, 8 and 12 works pretty well on the f/5 scope (I have them working on my Z130). Your plan of getting the 12 mm and the barlow first is a good plan, and use the 25 mm comes with the scope first, which seems a good eyepiece to use as a low power initially. The next step I think is to upgrade the low power eyepiece before getting the 8 mm one. 


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#3 expandingsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:13 AM

Maybe I'll go that route, then. Out of question, why do you think that path is better? I like it just because it's cheaper and simpler.

Do you have a recommendation for the 32 mm? Is a simple Plossl enough? Those seem to be reasonably priced, like around $35. I might even buy that right away and save the 8 mm for later.

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#4 PNW

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:29 AM

There's a website called astronomy.tools. They have a field of view simulator where you can select your scope and eyepiece and it will show the field of view for a given object. I find it very useful for pairing eyepieces to an object. I like my 5mm Paradigm and think they're a good series. If you stay in the same series, you won't be fiddling with the focus knob too much when you change eyepieces. I collected my set of eyepieces over time through the classifieds. Sounds like you'll have some time to do that while you're waiting for the new scope.


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#5 db2005

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:38 AM

If your current C4.5 has decent optics and supports 1.25" eyepieces there's a pretty good chance that upgrading your existing eyepieces will give your current scope a very noticeable performance boost. At least, that's what I experienced on my old 4.5" f/8 many years ago when I upgraded the junk eyepieces with some good Plössls. If you buy good quality eyepieces they will likely outlast your scope; if you want to get a taste of premium optical quality that doesn't break the bank, see if you can try a side-by-side comparison of a 25 mm MA and a Vixen 25 mm SLV. Even at the same focal length it is possible you would find that the upgrade to a high-quality eyepiece is worth it, especially in fast optics like the f/5 you are planning.



#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:54 AM

Here’s the deal. You don’t need the barlow.

Planets don’t need dark skies. If anything they are better in light pollution. Your C4.5 has probably double the focal length and a much less collimation sensitive F ratio so it will be a better scope for planetary. Look at the Moon and planets with the long tube at home, and DSO with the tabletop Dob. The C4.5 becomes the barlow. A 5mm will be a good medium power DSO eyepiece in the short one, or a good high power planetary eyepiece in the long scope.

The 25 paradigm isn’t that hot in fast scopes anyway. Just get a 32 Plossl, 30 NPL, or a used 30mm pseudo Masuyama if you want to get fancy. That and a 5mm paradigm and you are off and running. Eventually replace the 10mm with 8 and 12 Paradigm. I don’t know if I would bother with the 15. I’m not saying it is bad. It just might not be necessary.

Scott

#7 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 01:58 AM

Ok camping scope disclaimer. Remember, most people go camping in summer. Therefore campgrounds are usually shaded with lots of trees, which interfere with stargazing. Something to consider when evaluating camping sites. Honestly finding a spot on a mountain for stargazing can be difficult. I usually end up at a parking lot for a major hiking trailhead.

Scott

#8 TOMDEY

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 02:57 AM

Well... you've already analyzed the heck out of alternatives, which is good! Now go with your gut and order one or two. There's no right or wrong option.

 

On the general topic of decision-making, "experts" have concocted myriad recipes for success. I came up with this one long ago, which works for me:

 

>define the goal e.g. select next two eyepieces to buy, first and second.

>set a decision date e.g. within a week.

>define intended use. e.g. planets and Deep Sky with my existing and intended next scope.

>determine tech specs of 1st two new eyepieces.

>research alternatives e.g. surf the web, ask friends for recommendations.

>decide/compute which two are best.

>sleep on it ~cooling off period~ e.g. two days

>then, without delay, order the two that you feel are best!

 

What I'm saying is that nearly all of us research things and then wind up happily buying and enjoying what we actually wanted in the first place, before all the analysis and gnashing of teeth. The most common mistake is letting someone else decide for you, if against your early intuition. If you're gona ~make a mistake~, make it your own, not someone elses.    Tom


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#9 WillR

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 11:05 AM

The general consensus I have heard that jibes with my experience is that the 25mm is a decent eyepiece, better than the 10mm.

 

I would start with something in between. I like this eyepiece on my similarly sized scope.

 

https://agenaastro.c...piece-12mm.html


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#10 kongqk

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 11:51 AM

Maybe I'll go that route, then. Out of question, why do you think that path is better? I like it just because it's cheaper and simpler.

Do you have a recommendation for the 32 mm? Is a simple Plossl enough? Those seem to be reasonably priced, like around $35. I might even buy that right away and save the 8 mm for later.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Here are what my thinking:

  1. simplicity is really nice, I found I usually only take out 2 or 3 eyepieces out and focus on the observation instead of swapping to different eyepieces. Therefore, right now, I really try to optimize my minimalism eyepieces (a low, medium and high power or a barlow). 
  2. The 15 mm above of the Paradigm eyepieces are not perform as good as 12, 8 and 5 mm on f/5 scope
  3. Since you have a simpler and cheaper small set of eyepieces, if later you decide to upgrade to the premium eyepieces, you don't end up a lot duplicates. 

 

As for the low power eyepieces, for the 1.25" focuser, the 32 mm plossl or the 24 mm 68 degree give you the widest view. You can decide which one to get later. I prefer 24 mm 68 degree, because of the higher magnification (but it is also higher budget). But a 32 mm plossl is also a good one, I have the Meade 4000 32 mm, which is good low power eyepiece (but it seems discontinued also price increased, I bought mine for $40 new last year). I checked online, it seems GSO 32 mm plossl is an decent one (https://www.cloudyni...so-32mm-plossl/) at the price, but I don't have it, it is better to check with others who have it. 


Edited by kongqk, 25 January 2022 - 12:09 PM.


#11 expandingsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:03 PM

There's a website called astronomy.tools. They have a field of view simulator where you can select your scope and eyepiece and it will show the field of view for a given object. I find it very useful for pairing eyepieces to an object. I like my 5mm Paradigm and think they're a good series. If you stay in the same series, you won't be fiddling with the focus knob too much when you change eyepieces. I collected my set of eyepieces over time through the classifieds. Sounds like you'll have some time to do that while you're waiting for the new scope.

That's a useful tool.  That makes me realize I was ignoring FOV and just looking at magnification (like a true beginner, I suppose).  There's cases like the Sky-Watcher 25 mm with a 2x Barlow having basically the same FOV as the 15 mm Paradigm with 1.5x Barlow.  I guess I'm not sure what that means, exactly -- I guess it's the same field, just visually bigger and maybe dimmer?  Is one strictly better than the other (all else being equal)?

 

Good idea with the classifieds.  It looks like they're pretty active and these eyepieces are popular enough to pop up periodically.



#12 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:11 PM

I’ll be the contrarian and recommend starting with a zoom eyepiece, and as time goes on you can slowly fill in with fixed eye pieces.
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#13 expandingsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:13 PM

If your current C4.5 has decent optics and supports 1.25" eyepieces there's a pretty good chance that upgrading your existing eyepieces will give your current scope a very noticeable performance boost. At least, that's what I experienced on my old 4.5" f/8 many years ago when I upgraded the junk eyepieces with some good Plössls. If you buy good quality eyepieces they will likely outlast your scope; if you want to get a taste of premium optical quality that doesn't break the bank, see if you can try a side-by-side comparison of a 25 mm MA and a Vixen 25 mm SLV. Even at the same focal length it is possible you would find that the upgrade to a high-quality eyepiece is worth it, especially in fast optics like the f/5 you are planning.

 

 

Here’s the deal. You don’t need the barlow.

Planets don’t need dark skies. If anything they are better in light pollution. Your C4.5 has probably double the focal length and a much less collimation sensitive F ratio so it will be a better scope for planetary. Look at the Moon and planets with the long tube at home, and DSO with the tabletop Dob. The C4.5 becomes the barlow. A 5mm will be a good medium power DSO eyepiece in the short one, or a good high power planetary eyepiece in the long scope.

The 25 paradigm isn’t that hot in fast scopes anyway. Just get a 32 Plossl, 30 NPL, or a used 30mm pseudo Masuyama if you want to get fancy. That and a 5mm paradigm and you are off and running. Eventually replace the 10mm with 8 and 12 Paradigm. I don’t know if I would bother with the 15. I’m not saying it is bad. It just might not be necessary.

Scott

I'm definitely going to continue using my C4.5.  It doesn't have that much more focal length (900 instead of 750), but it does have an equatorial mount that's fun to use and I suspect might be easier to keep planets in the field of view if I set it up.  And it will certainly benefit from the better eyepieces, no doubt.  The mount is probably its best feature and its biggest pain: it's a simple wooden tripod, incredibly solid and sturdy, but a pain to set up and take down.  Still, though, I do enjoy getting it out to look at planets in my Bortle 5-6 skies.  But I think I might do that more often with the simpler Heritage design, especially if it's just me and not my kids or neighbors looking.


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#14 rgk901

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:18 PM

On my 130 which I take camping all the time I use 25/9/7 Xcel lx and 12/5 paradigm and a generic barlow with a detachable 1.5x cell when I want to push higher magnifications on the 5 other wise don't use the barlow much.

 

The above are the best of their lines and in F/5's ( the paradigm 8/15 also good but don't really need the 15 and decided on 9 vs 8) They are also light weight perfect for our more 'sensitive' focusers and to avoid any tube flex / weight imbalances.

 

I like and use them all and not sure which one I'd give up but if I had to pick just a minimal set to use, with a 2x/1.5x barlow, it probably be the 25/9... this gives 25 / ~17 / ~12 / 9 / ~6 / ~4.5 a pretty good spread from 2 EP's and the reason they include these focal lengths with scopes.

 

Since you have a 25 and 10, I'd buy the Barlow and spend some time observing with what you have and you will start to build a preference for certain magnifications... than go from there.

 

*the 32 plossl will be the same field of view as the 25 xcel lx but much more washed out at home with the light pollution* ** B5-6 isn't bad at all though!

 

 

 

good luck and enjoy the scope...once it finally arrives smile.gif


Edited by rgk901, 25 January 2022 - 12:21 PM.

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#15 expandingsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:20 PM

Ok camping scope disclaimer. Remember, most people go camping in summer. Therefore campgrounds are usually shaded with lots of trees, which interfere with stargazing. Something to consider when evaluating camping sites. Honestly finding a spot on a mountain for stargazing can be difficult. I usually end up at a parking lot for a major hiking trailhead.

Scott

Yeah, that's been my experience as well.  I'm in Colorado so it really depends on where I'm camping: the mountains tend to have plenty of pine trees to get in the way, but on the plains there isn't.  But most of the clearest skies tend to be in the mountains (at least, with the places I go) so there's tradeoffs.  But, honestly, that's another reason I'm looking at the Heritage -- it's smaller and easier to pack up, so I'm more likely to bring it regardless, just in case, rather than thinking, "why bother?"



#16 expandingsky

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:30 PM

Here are what my thinking:

  1. simplicity is really nice, I found I usually only take out 2 or 3 eyepieces out and focus on the observation instead of swapping to different eyepieces. Therefore, right now, I really try to optimize my minimalism eyepieces (a low, medium and high power or a barlow). 
  2. The 15 mm above of the Paradigm eyepieces are not perform as good as 12, 8 and 5 mm on f/5 scope
  3. Since you have a simpler and cheaper small set of eyepieces, if later you decide to upgrade to the premium eyepieces, you don't end up a lot duplicates. 

 

As for the low power eyepieces, for the 1.25" focuser, the 32 mm plossl or the 24 mm 68 degree give you the widest view. You can decide which one to get later. I prefer 24 mm 68 degree, because of the higher magnification (but it is also higher budget). But a 32 mm plossl is also a good one, I have the Meade 4000 32 mm, which is good low power eyepiece (but it seems discontinued also price increased, I bought mine for $40 new last year). I checked online, it seems GSO 32 mm plossl is an decent one (https://www.cloudyni...so-32mm-plossl/) at the price, but I don't have it, it is better to check with others who have it. 

Two people now have said that some of the longer focal length Paradigms (25 mm and 15 mm) won't work as well with this scope.  Why is that?  Is there a better option at this price, or do I just use what comes with the scope (until I maybe decide to upgrade to that 68 degree 24 mm ... not cheap, but possibly worthwhile?).



#17 rgk901

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:42 PM

When choosing camping spots, always go to satellite view of the campground and see where the best openings are...sometimes camping on the open grass with the RV's is best for open skies...but of course you're next to RV's...

 

This is a site I chose for my last camping trip based on satellite imagery and it was perfect! 360 degree views!

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#18 kongqk

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 12:51 PM

Two people now have said that some of the longer focal length Paradigms (25 mm and 15 mm) won't work as well with this scope.  Why is that?  Is there a better option at this price, or do I just use what comes with the scope (until I maybe decide to upgrade to that 68 degree 24 mm ... not cheap, but possibly worthwhile?).

My understanding is: because faster scope has bigger aperture and shorter focal length, which means when the lights come in, they bend more at steeper angles. The eyepieces take these bended lights and convert them back to the parallel lights to our eyes. Thus, the wider FOV eyepiece and the longer the focal length (low-power), the eyepieces need work more with these highly bended lights. To make the view better, good eyepieces needs multiple glasses to correct it, especially near the edge, thus cost more. 

 

Also, different people have different tolerance about the edge correction, I feel the 15, 18 and 25 on my f/5 scope not perform as good as the 12, 8, and 5 based on my eye (but they still perform better than cheaper eyepieces), but other people may feel different. Overall, the faster the scope, for wider field of view eyepieces, need better corrections (you even need a separate equipment for the hyperwide eyepieces, such as Paracorr to correct them). Hope someone can jump in if my understanding is not accurate.  


Edited by kongqk, 25 January 2022 - 01:01 PM.


#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 02:49 PM

I'm definitely going to continue using my C4.5. It doesn't have that much more focal length (900 instead of 750), but it does have an equatorial mount that's fun to use and I suspect might be easier to keep planets in the field of view if I set it up. And it will certainly benefit from the better eyepieces, no doubt. The mount is probably its best feature and its biggest pain: it's a simple wooden tripod, incredibly solid and sturdy, but a pain to set up and take down. Still, though, I do enjoy getting it out to look at planets in my Bortle 5-6 skies. But I think I might do that more often with the simpler Heritage design, especially if it's just me and not my kids or neighbors looking.

Oh, you are looking at the 6” tabletop Dob, not the 4.5”. I missed that. In that case you do want to view planets with it and a barlow might be appropriate.

Scott

#20 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 02:51 PM

Two people now have said that some of the longer focal length Paradigms (25 mm and 15 mm) won't work as well with this scope. Why is that? Is there a better option at this price, or do I just use what comes with the scope (until I maybe decide to upgrade to that 68 degree 24 mm ... not cheap, but possibly worthwhile?).

25 and 18 don’t work as well due to being a different optical design. Not sure about 15. The 25mm Celestron Xcel LX is the appropriate substitute for the 25 Paradigm in a fast scope.

Scott

#21 vtornado

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 02:52 PM

The Heritage 150 comes with 10 mm and 25 mm eyepieces (MA, I think), so of course I can just start with those.  I figure I should buy the Barlow first to make the most of what I have.  But after that?

Do I replace the 25 mm first, as a direct upgrade to the stock eyepiece?  --no nothhing wrong with a 25mm eyepieces.

Do I buy the 8 mm first, mostly as an upgrade to the stock 10 mm?  -- maybe a paradigm 8 or 12 ed will

  have more eye relief and a wider field of view.

Do I buy the 5 mm first, to extend capabilities for planetary viewing?  -- use a 2x barlow.
Do I buy the 15 mm first, as a solid versatile eyepiece (only using the 10 and 25 for the extremes)?

 

I would get a 2x barlow (gso or rebrand)   Now you have a 25, 12, 10, and 5.

 

Also consider an svbony or celestron 8-24 zoom.   Above 16 and the field of view gets narrow, but below that

it is on par with good plossls with longer eye relief and a wider field of view.

 

You could try one paradigm eyepiece to see how you like it vs. the kit eyepieces.

12, 8, 5 are the best performers.  

 

Although I have not used the eyepieces with the SW 150, anything else you buy may only be a modest upgrade.

The 10mm eyepiece will have tight eye relief.  



#22 SeattleScott

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 02:54 PM

That's a useful tool. That makes me realize I was ignoring FOV and just looking at magnification (like a true beginner, I suppose). There's cases like the Sky-Watcher 25 mm with a 2x Barlow having basically the same FOV as the 15 mm Paradigm with 1.5x Barlow. I guess I'm not sure what that means, exactly -- I guess it's the same field, just visually bigger and maybe dimmer? Is one strictly better than the other (all else being equal)?

Good idea with the classifieds. It looks like they're pretty active and these eyepieces are popular enough to pop up periodically.

Generally speaking if you can get the same FOV with greater magnification, that is preferred. That is why 60 AFOV is affordable, 80 AFOV is getting expensive and 100 AFOV is more expensive. There can be exceptions like viewing nebulae with filters but generally, yeah.

Scott
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#23 foxter

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 03:24 PM

@rgk - would you mind telling me the barlow you have?  I'm looking for such a barlow and it's been difficult 

to find one that mentions it'll detach and do 1.5 & 2x.  Thank you!



#24 vtornado

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 03:44 PM

Barlows with removable optics.

 

https://www.astronom...-eyepieces.html

 

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html


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#25 rgk901

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 03:59 PM

@rgk - would you mind telling me the barlow you have?  I'm looking for such a barlow and it's been difficult 

to find one that mentions it'll detach and do 1.5 & 2x.  Thank you!

I use this budget one. From what I see no image degradation takes place when using the cell alone (1.5x) but you'll have to blacken the tube if using the whole assembly for best contrast, when blackened it works great. It's also plastic so very light.

 

This 3x is really like a 2.2~2.5x .. they are cheap and off amazon they are an easy return if it doesn't work out. Many others like the 2x Orion shorty also at just $39.

 

I always look at my EP's or barlows in the light to see any reflections, than I blacken anything I can to prevent any light scatter that may impact brighter things like moon/planets.

 

https://www.amazon.c...oding=UTF8&th=1

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